From sunrise to sunset – mark the day your way in NSW this Australia Day

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Communities across NSW are encouraged to come together on Australia Day 2024 at events across the state. Sydney Harbour will take centre stage from first light and into the night and everyone is invited to join in the free events to mark the day their way.

Sydney’s January 26 program is presented by the NSW Government and the Australia Day Council of NSW and kickstarts a long weekend. The day begins at dawn with the sails of the Sydney Opera House as the canvas for a powerful piece of Aboriginal art, followed by a smoking ceremony at Barangaroo Reserve.

As the day warms up Harbourfest swings into action with non-stop activities on sea, sky and shore. The grand finale is the Australia Day Live concert on the Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House where Aussie stars will entertain and inspire the nation, alongside spectacular fireworks and maritime show into the night spanning Circular Quay (with limited free tickets available tomorrow at 10.00am).

Highlights of the Australia Day in Sydney 2024 program include:

  • Dawn Reflection – reflect as the sun rises over Sydney Cove (or ‘Warrane’) on Gadigal land in honour of the nation’s Traditional Custodians. The Opera House sails will be lit with an artwork that represents Aboriginal culture and people, coinciding with the raising of the Australian National Flag and the Australian Aboriginal Flag on the Harbour Bridge as a mark of recognition and unity.
  • WugulOra Morning Ceremony (Barangaroo Reserve) – a moving event which cleanses the way for new beginnings and celebrates the Gadigal people of the Eora nation through music, dance, language, storytelling and ceremony. Everyone is invited to attend or tune in and watch the live broadcast on NITV (National Indigenous TV) or stream free on SBS On Demand from 7.30am to learn from the stories of our First Peoples.
  • Australia Day Ferrython – onboard the four Emerald-Class ferries racing will be special guest invitees, with more than 700 teachers and staff from NSW Department of Education, in prime position for the fastest-ever race since this Australia Day tradition commenced in 1977. Come down and cheer on our teachers who do so much for our community. There’s also an all-new race route for 2024, with the ferries completing two laps from Fort Denison to the finish line near the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  • The Roulettes – For 13 thrilling minutes at midday the elite Royal Australian Air Force aerobatic display team will showcase their awe-inspiring flying prowess over Sydney Harbour. These daredevil aviators will push their aircraft to the limits, executing jaw-dropping loops, rolls, and high-G turns. This special Australia Day display marks the squad’s return to the skies above Sydney Harbour after more than three decades, promising an exhilarating and unmissable show.
  • The Great Aussie BBQ (Hickson Road Reserve) – this ain’t no ordinary sausage sizzle as we throw down the gauntlet to our multicultural community asking them to put their spin on the Aussie classic! Located at the most picturesque harbour spot there is, everyone can purchase a sausage sanga and help raise money for Rural Aid.
  • Australia Day Live Concert – as the sun sets in Sydney, the Australia Day Live free outdoor concert kicks into action with its all-star line-up (see below) in a spectacular show that takes over Circular Quay and will inspire and entertain the nation on January 26. Everyone is welcome to see the show from around Circular Quay where performances can be seen on the large screen in Circular Quay. Australia Day Live will also be broadcast live on ABC TV and ABC iview from 7.30pm.

The spectacular Australia Day Live concert at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt and Circular Quay features musical performances from Aussie acts, choreographed to a flotilla of yachts, dazzling acrobatics of jet-skiers, fly-boarders, and parachutists, plus light displays on the Sydney Opera House sails and Harbour Bridge, with dazzling fireworks throughout the show.

Performers Casey Donovan, Dami Im, William Barton, Kate Miller-Heidke, GANGgajang, Loren Ryan and Chocolate Starfish will perform some great Aussie hits in this inspiring show that celebrates the Australian spirit. Plus, there’s soprano Mirusia and mezzo soprano Emma Kavanagh, and Muggera dancers, all backed up by Aussie Pops Orchestra.

Hosts of Australia Day Live will be John Foreman OAM, Casey Donovan and ABC’s Jeremy Fernandez, and limited free tickets to experience this unmissable outdoor event from the Sydney Opera House Forecourt will be available tomorrow.

Limited free tickets will be available Thursday 18 January from 10am at

Australia Day Live is produced by the NSW Government and Australia Day Council of NSW in partnership with Destination NSW and the National Australia Day Council.

There will also be events across the state, with around 100 inspirational Australia Day Ambassadors travelling to every corner of NSW from Broken Hill to Burwood and Mosman to Murrumbidgee to support local Australia Day events.

Throughout the day, the nation’s most beautiful harbour city will dazzle, with everyone invited to come together for the abundance of free activities including the OzDay 10K Wheelchair Race, Maritime Mayhem, hopping on a Vintage Bus for a spin over the Harbour Bridge, plus plenty of food stalls in The Rocks and The Great Aussie BBQ to satisfy appetites.

Make sure you take the kids of all ages to the Mega Kidz Zone at the Overseas Passenger Terminal with an inflatable Ninja obstacle course, a massive maze, a silent disco and wheelchair basketball and don’t forget to swing past the Family Fun with Surf Life Saving NSW on the MCA Lawn.

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